Meditation has been around for thousands of years, and in that time many different branches of the practice have grown and evolved. There are many types of meditation to choose from and plenty of meditation exercises for you to try, but rather than overwhelming you with all of the different types, we’ve made a list of the most popular forms of this ancient art, along with a short description of each.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Probably the most renowned meditation technique, mindfulness meditation is a style of meditation that utilises focused attention, heightened awareness and observation methods. Rather than blocking out noise and distraction, during this meditation you allow yourself to be aware of everything that is around you and let your attention flow freely without judgement or attachment.
2. Mantra Meditation
During mantra meditation a mantra, or chant, is spoken out loud or in your mind throughout the meditation session. There are lots of mantras to choose from but ‘Om‘ very is commonly used as the vibration sound it creates makes for a deep meditation experience. The mantra is used as an object of focus and allows the mind to centre itself throughout the meditation.
3. Movement Meditation
For those of you who hate the idea of sitting still, movement meditation might be a good way to gain inner peace but in a way that you feel comfortable with. Movement meditation does not have to be as active as it suggests and should not involve any activity that will get the heart pumping too fast or give you a rush of adrenaline. For a more inactive movement meditation try sitting down in whichever position you like and, rather than sitting completely still, move sections of your body slowly whilst focusing on your breathing and the motion. For a more physical activity, try meditating whilst practicing yoga, gardening, cleaning, walking, or any other peaceful exercise.
4. Zen Meditation
Zen or “seated meditation” as per its literal meaning, is a type of Buddhist meditation that is used to obtain enlightenment and insight. A zen meditation is concentrated on observing the breath and the mind and generally involves sitting in the lotus position.
5. Spiritual Meditation
Spiritual meditation tends to have its roots in a religious or philosophical practice, however it can be used in a non religious way to gain insight and find answers. You can choose to communicate with god if you are religious or, if not, you can just communicate with yourself, the universe, or some other spiritual entity of your choosing. Just as in the previous meditation exercises, focusing on your breath and your thoughts is key. Once you have found your inner clam and peace of mind, you can allow yourself to pose questions or think about any problems you may have.
We hope you enjoyed this brief meditation guide to some of the world’s most well known and frequently practiced types of meditation. Find the one that works for you and then stick to it, that is the secret to successful meditation.